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Ten things to do in Tendring - discovering North Essex

PUBLISHED: 10:43 05 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:02 05 June 2018

Walton-on-the-Naze beach. Picture: TDC

Walton-on-the-Naze beach. Picture: TDC


Enjoy exploring north Essex this summer. Here’s a look at 10 attractions to discover in the Tendring area.

Team Raven performing at the Clacton Airshow. Picture: TDCTeam Raven performing at the Clacton Airshow. Picture: TDC

Watch Clacton Airshow

Clacton Airshow, now in its 27th year, takes place on August 23-24, and promises some dazzling displays. The programme includes twilight flights in the evening, and a whole host of activities on the ground too along Clacton seafront.

To keep up-to-date with flight announcements and information, visit the website.

An old street scene in Harwich. Picture: PETER WILESAn old street scene in Harwich. Picture: PETER WILES

Visit Historic Harwich

The town is gearing up to celebrate 400 years since the Mayflower – led by local man Captain Jones – set sail to America. There is a wealth to see and do in Harwich, including the Festival of the Arts (June 21 – July 1) and the International Shanty Festival (October 5-7).

For full details of events and activities, follow the link.

Swans in Mistley. Picture: SU ANDERSONSwans in Mistley. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Enjoy Constable Country

Mistley and Manningtree are the gateway to Constable Country, the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Steeped in history, Manningtree is referred to in Shakespeare’s Henry IV and was also where Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins began his reign of terror in the 17th Century.

A House for Essex, the Grayson Perry house overlooking the River Stour in Wrabness. Picture: TDCA House for Essex, the Grayson Perry house overlooking the River Stour in Wrabness. Picture: TDC

See A House for Essex

Designed by Turner Prize-winning Essex artist Grayson Perry A House for Essex, in Wrabness, can be rented and stayed in, but the demand is so high that you have to win a ballot to book.

A work of art inside and out, it tells the story of Essex woman Julie and the trials and tribulations of her life. It can be viewed from the outside. Learn more or bid to stay here.

Boats in Brightlingsea. Picture: TDCBoats in Brightlingsea. Picture: TDC

Explore Brightlingsea

There is plenty to do in Brightlingsea, from the outdoor pool and boating lake to the beach. It’s a historic town, part of the Cinque Liberty Ports which banded together to fend off invasion as far back as Saxon times,

Events include the music festival (August 3-5) and Food & Drink Festival (August 25-26).

The Naze Tower in Walton-on-the-Naze. Picture: TDCThe Naze Tower in Walton-on-the-Naze. Picture: TDC

Navigate the Naze

The Naze at Walton-on-the-Naze is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a haven for wildlife. The Essex Wildlife Trust-run visitor centre provides information on the birds, seals and other animals you may see as well as the fascinating geological history of the area.

The Naze Tower offers spectacular views and refreshments. Find out more about the reserve at and the tower at

The beach in Frinton. Picture: PETER BASHThe beach in Frinton. Picture: PETER BASH

Frolic in Frinton

Famed for maintaining its coastal destination chic, Frinton has a number of attractions, including its sandy beach, beautiful beach huts, and the Railway Cottage. The Frinton and Walton Heritage Trust also runs the Walton Maritime Museum just up the coast.

Learn more about what to see and do at the trust’s website.

The Ha'penny Pier in Harwich looking out to Felixstowe docks at night. Picture: TDCThe Ha'penny Pier in Harwich looking out to Felixstowe docks at night. Picture: TDC

Stroll Along the Piers

Tendring’s coastline is home to many piers, from the historic Ha’penny Pier at Harwich Quay to the amusement arcades and entertainment on Walton and Clacton Piers.

Each has places to eat and offers its own stunning views, so take a stroll along these walkways over the sea. Visit the Clacton pier website here, the Walton pier website here and the Harwich pier website here.

Beth Chatto Gardens in Elmsett near Colchester. Picture: SU ANDERSONBeth Chatto Gardens in Elmsett near Colchester. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Browse Beth Chatto Gardens

The late award-winning plantswoman Beth Chatto took over a piece of waste ground with poor water supplies in Elmstead Market in 1960 with her husband Andrew, and turned it into a thriving beacon of what a garden can be. It is now also home to a nursery and tea rooms.

Discover more at the gardens website.

Great Bentley is just one of the beautiful places to visit in the Tendring area. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGEGreat Bentley is just one of the beautiful places to visit in the Tendring area. Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

Tour Around Tendring

There is a lot more to the Tendring district beyond the previous nine points.

From historic churches and monasteries – some dating to the 11th Century – to the country’s largest village green in Great Bentley and much more besides, Get out and explore this summer, and see what hidden gems you can find.

It’s safe to say that the Dreamboys received a grand reception at the Regent theatre in Ipswich on Friday night.

From rambling stories about dispensing sockfulls of change into an ATM to regaling the vagaries of living with a jazz musician, Irish funnyman David O’Doherty’s latest bonkers brand of comedy proved a hit.

With the Christmas season now almost upon us, our theatres are dusting down their stock of bad jokes, readying themselves for two months of festive fun. Arts editor Andrew Clarke casts an eye over the pantomimes seeking to entertain us this year

Gym goers of Ipswich are invited to a free workout with exotic-dancers The Dreamboys to raise money for Children in Need.

There’s something special about a well-performed pantomime. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to Karen Simpson, from Bury Theatre Royal, about what makes this great theatrical tradition so successful

When you watch a comedian like Ross Noble, you’ve got to expect the unexpected.

Acting legend Sir Ian McKellen is touring the region next celebrating his 80th birthday and raising money for regional theatre. Arts editor Andrew Clarke finds out more about this ‘must-see’ event

Ipswich boy and Strictly Come Dancing favourite Robin Windsor explains how wanting to finish at the top of his game and the lure of a permanent natural tan convinced him to waltz into the sunset.

Within minutes of this witty and revealing play starting, you can see what attracted Private Eye’s Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, to write this extraordinary piece of professional biography.

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